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Too soft, too hard or just right?

Understanding tire inflation isn’t rocket science. You can tell at a glance (or the minute you start driving) if your tires are okay. They’re either flat or not.

Actually, life in tire-ville isn’t so black and white.

The only way to tell if you tires are properly inflated is to use a tire gauge. Determine the proper inflation for your tires—not the maximum on the sidewall, but the recommended pressure. (Look in the owner’s manual or on the sticker inside the door, glove compartment or trunk.) Then, check them regularly, with a tire gauge, once a month.

Tires that are too soft are dangerous and can lower your fuel economy by as much as 25%. Just the opposite, over-inflated tires cause handling issues and increased wear on the tires and suspension.

Don’t forget to check the tread while you’re at it, and consider splurging on snow tires for wintry climates. A good grip is what keeps your car from slip slidin’ away.

Posted: 2/26/08
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